BOZICH | Louisville eager for Jude to write the final chapter of - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Louisville eager for Jude to write the final chapter of the Schimmel book

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Jude Schimmel will play her final season at Louisville without her famous sister, Shoni. Jude Schimmel will play her final season at Louisville without her famous sister, Shoni.
 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Study the bucket lists shared by members of the University of Louisville women's basketball team. You'll find the predictable rundown of dreams and goals:

Meet LeBron James; win the lottery; meet Beyonce; win a national title; meet Kobe Bryant; play pro basketball; buy a Cadillac Escalade; skydive.

Then there is Jude Schimmel, the Cards' senior point guard. Her three goals will start a different conversation.

You don't need to know that she earned her degree in sociology in three years with a 3.5 grade point average to understand Jude Schimmel is more than your basic gym rat.

She wants to travel to Paris, she wants to start a foundation, and Jude Schimmel wants to write a book – about her life crushing the odds as a Native American, one who is already working on a graduate degree at U of L while playing college basketball at the highest level.

It will be a book about the wonderful job that her parents, Rick Schimmel and Cecilee Moses, did raising their seven children on the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indiana Reservation in Oregon.

Maybe there will be a special chapter about her experience playing for the Cardinals this season without her sister, Shoni, the former U of L all-American who was voted the MVP of the WNBA all-star game last summer. Four years of Shoni are over. One bonus year of Jude remains.

“It might sound silly but it would be about my life and my experiences,” Schimmel said Monday during the team's media day. “My sister and I are role models for a lot of younger native Americans.

“I'd like to write a book to show them that whatever I'm doing, and whatever Shoni's doing, it's very, very possible for all of them to do it as well.  A lot of people look up to athletes but when you can see somebody with the student and the athlete part of it, I think it says a lot.”

According to a U.S. Dept. of Education study published last April, the high school graduation rate for Native Americans is not encouraging – only 65 percent of all Native American seniors earned diplomas in 2011. That number was considerably less than the national average (79 percent) of all U.S. students as well as the lowest rate for all ethnic groups in this country.

Yet, here is Jude, undergraduate degree in hand, working on her master's in sports administration while starting to outline her thoughts for the book, one that she plans to write within two years of finishing her playing career next spring.

“It starts with the root of things,” Schimmel said. “I was lucky and fortunate enough to have parents who knew what they were doing.

“I know a lot of other Native Americans don't have very good resources or opportunities to do a lot of things that Shoni and I have done. I was lucky enough to have parents who cared for me and wanted the best for me.”

That is part of the story that Jude Schimmel has shared in dozens of speaking engagements at 33 reservations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon over the last two years.

The first time Schimmel spoke, her talk lasted two minutes. Now she can carry her motivational tale for 15 minutes.

Rather than play overseas during the off-season, Shoni Schimmel has been sharing her story across the nation since the WNBA season ended.

“Shoni and I want to give back,” Jude Schimmel said. “We want more native Americans to succeed.”

There is also a basketball equation to this – Jude Schimmel's senior season. Walz said that opposing coaches taunted him for giving Jude a scholarship, insisting it was only offered because Shoni signed with Louisville.

Monday Walz said that Jude Schimmel is absolutely in the mix to be Louisville's starting point guard, despite her narrow 5-foot-6 body. The coach said he would not be surprised to see Schimmel average closer to 30 minutes per game after averaging less than 23 last season.


“Not to me,” Walz said. “That's why we recruited her.

"I'm not expecting to see Jude take 25 shots a game or anything like that. But I would expect her to take on a little bit more of a leadership role.”

If she continues to progress the way she has improved the last two seasons, Schimmel with depart U of L with about 700 points, 400 assists and more than 200 steals.

The question Jude kept getting asked Monday was not about her plans to write a book. It was about how she will perform without her famous older sister on the roster.

Jude heard that one so many times that somebody finally asked her if the question was already getting old.

“It doesn't bother me,” she said. “I miss her definitely. I'm going to miss her the whole year.

“But I keep saying that I've gotten close to a lot of my teammates. It just feels like I have a lot of sisters. I'm not sad. I don't feel pressure. I'm excited for the year and I can't wait to play with my teammates that I have now.”

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